Aircraft Naming Conventions

Started by tigercat, June 27, 2010, 03:30:59 AM

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tigercat

When creating fictional creations you need to select an appropriate name for them and I wondered about aircraft naming conventions.

Different aircraft companies have different methods Grumman have their cats and Hawker their winds but presumably in the case of the military the end use has some influence

Presumably it isn't a coincidence that all the RAF's 4 engine heavies were named after British Cities although I imagine their must have been some latitude with Shorts keeping their initial S

Vickers for example have their V & W's but is their other subdivisions. Their appear to be some Ie Cities, Animals , Connected to the Iron Duke  but are they randomly assigned or applied to certain subtypes

pyro-manic

Vickers wanted their V-bomber to be called the Vimy, but the MoD decided on Valiant. This is mentioned in the BSP Bombers book.
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JayBee

Quote from: tigercat on June 27, 2010, 03:30:59 AM
Presumably it isn't a coincidence that all the RAF's 4 engine heavies were named after British Cities although I imagine their must have been some latitude with Shorts keeping their initial S

Not totally sure what you mean by that last bit! :o
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Cats are not real. 
They are just physical manifestations of collisions between enigma & conundrum particles.

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Cliffy B

We should compile a list of all of the companies and their naming trends for future reference I think.  

Only ones I can think of off the top of my head is McDonnell had "spirits" and Douglas had "sky".

Anyone else care to add to the list?
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puddingwrestler

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (or COmpany, I can never remember what CAC stands for) used Coree words for all thier names. I know Jindvik is some thing to do with wind, not sure about Winjeel and Wirraway. Boomerang is obvious.
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tigercat

Sorry what I meant is that like Vickers having all names beginning V&W Shorts tend to have aircraft starting with S.

What set me off was reading about the Vicker Vildebeest apparently the name had to be a mammal the book didn't say why and it almost ended up as a Vickers Vulpe or Vicuna.

JayBee

I always understood that Jindivik was Aboriginal for "The Hunted One".
Alle kunst ist umsunst wenn ein engel auf das zundloch brunzt!!

Sic biscuitus disintegratum!

Cats are not real. 
They are just physical manifestations of collisions between enigma & conundrum particles.

Any aircraft can be improved by giving it a SHARKMOUTH!

puddingwrestler

Quite possibly - I might be thinking of one of the other CAC machines.
I just remembered the other great CAC/GAF (Government Aircraft Factory) name - the piloted prototype of the Jindvik unmanned target drone was called the Pika, making it the only plane in history named after the vocalizations of a pokemon.


Note the resemblance.
(Actually, the Pika is named after a small animal I think, but I prefer this version)
There are no good kits, bad kits or grail kits, just kitbash fodder.

Mossie

Quote from: Cliffy B on June 27, 2010, 02:26:41 PM
We should compile a list of all of the companies and their naming trends for future reference I think. 

Only ones I can think of off the top of my head is McDonnell had "spirits" and Douglas had "sky".

Anyone else care to add to the list?

Lockheed had "star", NA had the Sabre series.  Grumman had a cat theme, with "cat" in the name for WWII aircraft & big cats post war, reverting back for the Tomcat later on.  Hawker had a theme of naming their aircraft after weather phenomenon, then changed over to birds of prey when HS was formed, with a few that didn't fit in the immediate post war period.

The RAF's Air Training Corps has given their gliders names begining with V, Viking, Valiant & Vigiliant, similar to the V Bombers.  IIRC, this occured as part of competition opened to air cadets.

The US army has a habit of naming it's helicopters after Native American tribes, Apache, Kiowa, Lakota etc.  One that seems to have bucked the trend is the Cobra.

The British Army uses words beggining with C for it's MBT's, & S for AFV's, with a few exceptions such as Warrior & the FV430 series that were not named for the large part.

Several Navies the world over same to use a simillar convention for naming their ships.  A warship is a projection of power & national pride, so names are given accordingly, usually after historical events, historical persons or cities.  The Royal Navy has used all of these (maybe bucking the historical events mostly) & adds in an extra dimension with names with an aggressive connotation.
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NARSES2

Have to be honest and say that I find the conventions used in the British Aircraft Industry a bit confusing. Just as I think I have a companies sorted out I find a change in convention or one that doesn't fit and I'm thrown again  :banghead:

I try and keep the names of my Wif's logical (in my own little mind) but when I give a Wif a name it always seems odd. As an example in WWII we had the Avro Manchester and Lancaster which because they were real sound find, if I create an Avro Preston or Blackpool it sounds silly. Is this just me or what ? Similarly we have Supermarine Spitfire, Scimitar etc but Supermarine Sprite ?? There must be something happening here psychologically ? Van can you help ?  :blink:

British Armoured vehicles are a little easier as Mossie says and the RN has a very strict naming convention who's only slight oddity is where you had captured ships that kept their name and then the name was continued in the original, non English, spelling.
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De Havilland had an insect theme starting from the endless Moth variants and then continuing with the Mosquito and Hornet. In the jet age they went for Vs (oddly) with the Vampire, Venom, Vixen etc...

Of course, aircraft are named by a variety of means and the company "policy", if it even exists, may be overruled by the customer.

The Hawker Hunter (which doesn't fit any convention) was apparently named by an internal competition. Blackburn held a similar competition for the NA.39, which, IIRC, selected "Pirate" but the RN overruled it and chose "Buccaneer" instead. One of the competition entries was "ARNA", being allegedly an acronym for "A Royal Navy Aircraft": it wasn't until somebody said "Blackburn ARNA" out loud that the joke became apparent. In a postscript, when it was decided to paint the S.Mk.1s white, ther were instantly christened "peeled nanas"..... ;D

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tigercat

Bitish Military Gliders were named for Classical figures beginning with H I think Ie: Hamilcar

so there's room for a WHIF HAdrian or Hannibal ( a glider big enough to carry an elephant over the alps maybe )

Mossie

#12
I think most naming conventions are made to be broken.  I can't think of many that haven't been changed on at least one occasion.  Like Weaver mentions, a customer might not neccesarily use the same name as a manufacturer (can lead to confusion with the same type having several different names).  Often suitable options simply run out, esepcially if other nations have equipment similarly named around the same time.  Sometimes, a name is never officially selected & a number designation is used, in this case nicknames often become semi-official.
I don't think it's nice, you laughin'. You see, my mule don't like people laughin'. He gets the crazy idea you're laughin' at him. Now if you apologize, like I know you're going to, I might convince him that you really didn't mean it.

Weaver

US forces in particular have a habit of either ignoring the official name or replacing it with an unofficial one. The Thunderbolt/Warthog, F-111/Aardvark and Fighting Falcon/Viper spring to mind...
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 - Indiana Jones '

upnorth

A few that come to mind:

Republic had their "Thunder" series starting with the P-47 Thunderbolt, working through the F-84 Thunderjet, RF-84 Thunderflash, F-105 Thunderchief and coming full circle to the A-10 Thunderbolt II.

Northrop did, losely, havea theme of venomous critters: P-61 Black Widow, F-89 Scorpion and YF-17 Cobra
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